The Greek genocide (Greek: Γενοκτονία των Ελλήνων, Genoktonia ton Ellinon), including the Pontic genocide, was the systematic killing of the Christian Ottoman Greek population of Anatolia which was carried out during World War I and its aftermath (1914–1922) on the basis of their religion and ethnicity. It was instigated by the government of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish national movement against the indigenous Greek population of the Empire and included massacres, forced conversion to Islam, forced deportations involving death marches[where?], expulsions, summary execution, and the destruction of Eastern Orthodox cultural, historical, and religious monuments. Several hundred thousand Ottoman Greeks died during this period. Most of the refugees and survivors fled to Greece (adding over a quarter to the prior population of Greece). Some, especially those in Eastern provinces, took refuge in the neighbouring Russian Empire.

By late 1922, most of the Greeks of Asia Minor had either fled or had been killed. Those remaining were transferred to Greece under the terms of the later 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, which formalized the exodus and barred the return of the refugees. Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Armenians, and some scholars and organizations have recognized these events as part of the same genocidal policy.

The Allies of World War I condemned the Ottoman government–sponsored massacres. In 2007, the International Association of Genocide Scholars passed a resolution recognising the Ottoman campaign against its Christian minorities, including the Greeks, as genocide. Some other organisations have also passed resolutions recognising the Ottoman campaign against these Christian minorities as genocide, as have the national legislatures of Greece, Cyprus, the United States, Sweden, Armenia, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.

Many victims

The question of the number of victims of persecution during the decade that lasted until the Asia Minor Catastrophe concerns scholars and activists seeking the recognition of the events as genocide and is related to the question of the multitude of Greeks living in Asia Minor at the beginning of World War II. In the case of Pontus, the scholar and refugee Georgios Valavanis himself established in 1925 the number of 353 thousand victims, which was then reproduced by the activists of the Pontian genocide, as a result of which it was officially accepted and repeated in all relevant commemorative ceremonies. Political scientist Rudolf Rammel estimates that it cost the lives of approximately 326,000-382,000 Greeks. The number of 350,000 dead in the Pontus during the period of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923, is repeated by the genocide scholars Samuel Totten and Paul Bartrop. As the journalist Tassos Costopoulos proved, however, this number of Valavanis came with the arbitrary addition of 50,000 to the number of 303,238 displaced mentioned in a 1922 pamphlet, who were presented not as displaced but as exterminated. Costopoulos estimates that about 100-150,000 were exterminated in the period 1912-1924 in Pontos.

Global recognition

On February 24, 1994, the Greek Parliament unanimously voted to declare May 19 a “Day of Remembrance for the Greek Genocide in Asia Minor,” the day Mustafa Kemal landed in Samsun. Also in 1998, Parliament unanimously voted to declare “September 14th as a day of national remembrance of the genocide of the Greeks of Asia Minor by the Turkish State.”

In December 2007, the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) officially recognized the Greek genocide, along with the Assyrian genocide, and issued the following resolution:

"CONSIDERING that the denial of a genocide is universally recognized as the final stage of genocide, ensuring impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, and well-prepared the ground for future genocides,
CONSIDERING that the Ottoman genocide against the minority populations during and after the First World War is usually presented as genocide against the Armenians only, with little recognition of the qualitatively similar genocides against other Christian minorities,
DECIDES that it is the belief of the International Union of Genocide Scholars that the Ottoman campaign against the Christian minorities of the empire, between 1914 and 1923, constituted genocide against the Armenians, Assyrians, Pontians and Greeks.
"THE UNION DECIDES to ask the Turkish Government to recognize the genocides against these populations, to formally apologize, and to take appropriate and important steps towards restoration (non-repetition)."

Commemorative plaque of the Pontian Brotherhood of South Australia for the exterminated Pontians in Adelaide, Australia.

The Pontian genocide is officially recognized as such by four states, Greece by law of 1994 (N. 2193/1994), Sweden by a vote in the Swedish parliament on March 11, 2010, Armenia by March 2015, along with the genocide of the Assyrians and the Netherlands, together with the genocide of the Armenians and Assyrians, on April 9, 2015.

Turkey does not acknowledge that there was genocide and attributes the deaths to war losses, plague and disease and does not admit that there was genocide. Most modern Turks are partially or completely ignorant of these events. However, Turkish historians have publicly described the events as genocide.

Links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_genocide

Author (s): info-scanner

A new book and album of modern greek music is out now in a new way with the classical guitar. The info-scanner.com , found more about Mark Hussey, his book and album.

Guitarist Mark Hussey

Tell us a few words about you. How and when you became a classical guitarist?

I’m a UK born British Cypriot with a father from the UK and mother from Cyprus. I’ve been living in the UK since 1997. I gained, PhD in virology from Oxford University (2006) but subsequently turned to the guitar for an alternative career. Guitar music has always had a special place in my heart and I wanted to craft a career if possible doing something I love despite little or no formal training on guitar. With the music I was learning and playing, I started to land classical and solo guitar paid performances. Before I knew it I was being branded a classical guitarist. I would rather like to think of myself as an all round guitarist as I incorporate a lot of jazz, flamenco and improvisation into my music. 

When did you release your book of sheet music and your album: Spirit of the Greeks?

The album and the book were released 1st May this year. To me it was important to release this book now because it marks almost 100 years from the birth of modern Greek music .

How did you get inspired?

The idea for Spirit of the Greeks – Greek music for classical guitar, was born out of me trying to pay tribute to the music I had gown up around in Cyprus. Being a guitarist I wanted to try to express some of these songs as solo pieces and began to craft my arrangements. After writing them down to sheet music, I thought how nice it would be to share them. I sought all the relevant permissions, and was licensed to include them in a publication. I feel rather lucky to have been able to get permission as it was quite a challenge with more obstacles thrown in the way that I could have imagined.  Still, now that it is complete, I’m delighted to be able to share this sheet music for other guitar players to enjoy as well the album for the general public.

What do you believe about the Greek music? Do you believe the older repertoire is not heard anymore by the people? 

I think Greek music has been largely overlooked outside Greece and Cyprus. The language is of course a barrier, but playing this music as instrumental guitar pieces may open it up to a new audience, especially to classical and Spanish guitar enthusiasts.  Greek music deserves a wider audience and I wanted to play my part.  In the west we celebrate the jazz , rock and pop icons but Greek music has its own genius composers, performers and all in a completely unique style. 

I am sure people still enjoy the older music but it would be great to see a strong revival. I wasn’t born when most of this music was written, and so nostalgia does not really play a part in my judgement that the older repertoire is richer in many ways. It was real, honest and in a time of fewer distractions, the messages within were more important and more powerful than today. Of course, the recordings were largely unaltered and musicians really had to play well. 

Do you think that there is not enough promotion for this music ? and how do you think this music should be promoted?

Through writing this book, I discovered that it is very hard for todays performers revive old Greek music through covering it with their own versions. Yes many people do record it, but I’m not sure how ‘legal’ their recording are. The copyright restrictions were an enormous surprise, and in my view of no benefit to promoting the original artists. For example, my aim was to share this music such that the original artists could be rediscovered promoting Greek music and Greek culture. This required a difficult process of seeking the copyright owners, obtaining permission, payment and agree to numerous terms imposed before I could include them in the book, even for songs that are now nearly 100 years old. I believe, covering an artists music should be seen as a positive event, in the interest of the genre, artist and the estate of the artist. It is also of cultural importance. It is strange to think that one could in theory legally perform a song of say Mikis Theodorakis, but when writing it down for others to try their hand at, you could be taken to court for damages. I’m not sure of sharing ‘how to play’ songs, does any damage. I feel strongly that it instead adds to the writers legacy. Perhaps a change to the copyright laws may be the best way helping Greek music expand its reach beyond its boarders.

Which is your favorite piece from the album: Spirit of the Greeks?

My favourite piece on the album could well be ‘Pou Nai Tha Chronia’, not least because I have so much respect for George Dalaras as singer and performer, but also because it is such a powerful, detailed song. It was what I can only describe as a beautiful challenge to play on a single guitar, fitting in as many of these details as possible. Most important however, was getting the melody right. As I was recording it felt like Dalaras was singing it in my ear. It is my sincere hope that he enjoys my rendition supported by flamenco style palmas. 

SONG TITLES

The following pieces are included in both book and album, arranged for and played on classical guitar.

Xekina Mia Psaropoula

Pou Nai Tha Chronia

Frangosyriani

Misirlou

Bouzouki Mou Diplochordo

To Zeibekiko Tis Evdokias

Siko Horepse Sirtaki

Never on Sunday

Kaimos

Zorba Dance

Mark can be heard demonstrating these arrangements on the album ‘Spirit of the Greeks’ also available on Amazon, Spotify and Apple (see below)

Website – www.spiritofthegreeks.com

Book promo video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvkuu9ISYIA 

Album link – https://open.spotify.com/album/2v5BvzKJDqkGzbct48mcPX?si=Hn02e-SvR3KbKhaOJbiW_g


Author (s): Info-scanner